Construction group Kier reports strong first half progress

The Kier offices in Norwich, formerly the home of May Gurney which Kier acquired ini 2013.

The Kier offices in Norwich, formerly the home of May Gurney which Kier acquired ini 2013.

National construction services group Kier today reported strong growth in first half revenues, combined with a strong order book for the rest of 2015.

National construction services group Kier today reported strong growth in first half revenues, combined with a strong order book for the rest of 2015.

Kier, which employs more than 200 people in Suffolk where it maintains roads and footpaths under a contract with the county council, said group-wide revenue for the six months to December 31 was 11% up on last year’s first half at £1.583billion.

Underlying pre-tax profits, before exceptional items, dipped by 2%, from £36.8m to £35.9m, although the reported pre-tax total was sharply higher, at £26.7m against £6.3m at last year’s half way stage which included one-off charges of £30.5m against £9.2m this time.

Underlying operating profit was largely flat compared with a year earlier, at £44.2m agaiinst £44.4m, which Kier said reflecting a weighting towards the second half in its forecast full year results.


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Kier also highlighted a “robust” future pipeline of work with improved order books (secured and probable) for both Kier Construction (£2.6bn, against £2.5bn in June 2014) and Kier Services (£3.9bn, against £3.7bn), with both full secured for 2015.

The group added that its property development pipeline now totalled than £1bn and that it also had a strong forward sales position in the residential division.

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The iterim dividend will rise by 7% from 22.5p to 24.0p per share.

Kier Group chief executive Haydn Mursell said: “I am pleased to announce a good set of results, once again reflecting Kier’s ability to deliver consistently whilst continuing to invest for medium-term growth.

“The order books of the construction and services divisions have increased to £6.5bn with revenue now fully secured for 2015. The property development pipeline sits at more than £1bn and we have a strong forward sales position in the residential division. With an improving market, we are seeing more and higher quality opportunities filling our pipeline.”

He added: “Significant positions on key frameworks, a disciplined approach to new work and an improving economy, position us well for the remainder of 2015 and over the medium term. A further increase in the interim dividend reflects our confidence in the future. We remain on course to meet the board’s expectations for the full year.”

Besides its work for Suffolk County Council, Kier is also currently working on a number of other contracts in the county including the the £10.9m rebuild of Suffolk New Academy (formerly Chantry High School) which will provide modern facilities for 900 pupils when completed later in 2015. Kier is also involved in the construction of a new £3.7m aseptic preparation unit for Ipswich Hospital.

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